Video: How To Play Expressive Lead Guitar Licks Using The Mixolydian b6 Mode
Learning how to play excellent lead guitar licks is all about mastering the ability to command emotion with the way you phrase your ideas.
Ever wished you could play emotional lead guitar licks that sound impressive and create a sense of melancholy?
No problem, the Mixolydian b6 mode is perfectly set up for this.
What exactly is Mixolydian b6 mode? It's the 5th mode of melodic minor.
This mode is put together in a way that creates a lot of emotional and creative potential for you to use to make your lead guitar licks sound very emotional captivating... and it doesn't require advanced soloing skills or tons of speed.
Let me show you how to use this cool musical mode to create lead guitar licks and solos that will make anyone listening shed a tear...
Check out this lead guitar video to learn how to use the Mixolydian flat 6 mode to make your lead guitar licks drip with emotion:
Click on the video to begin watching it.
Now you know how to play better lead guitar licks using the emotionally powerful Mixolydian b6 mode.
Here are some more tips to help you use what you learned to play better lead guitar licks than ever:
How To Play Fast Lead Guitar Licks That Are Higher-Quality
1. While playing notes that are higher in pitch, select the neck pick up. Do this by switching the the pickup selector all the way to the top position.
This makes the tone smoother.
The bridge pickup helps make your rhythm guitar (and playing in the lower pitch range) sound good, but it has the effect of making higher range notes sound too thinned out.
2. Focus on your rhythmic timing.
It’s common that lead guitar players stay on the beat some of the time but are ahead of behind other times. This applies to both rhythm guitar licks and lead guitar licks.
How do you improve this?
Make improving your timing a higher priority whenever you play. Try to divide up your focus between playing the notes and being ready for when the next beat of the metronome arrives. Using recording software helps you see and hear inconsistencies.
3. Don’t practice a lot using generic chromatic exercises.
It can be very easy to fall into the trap of practicing these types of lead guitar licks in a mindless way since they don't have any particular musical purpose or application.
You rarely play chromatic lead guitar licks like this in music
Working on this mostly just improves your ability to play these types of chromatic lead guitar licks, but not much else.
Your practice time can be used much more efficiently by working on items that actually can be applied into music and are in-line with helping you develop the skills you need to reach your musical goals.
4. Develop consistently clean muting technique.
To get rid of string noise so your lead guitar licks sound great, use the index finger of the fretting hand to mute the strings that are right above the one you are playing.
So, if you are playing the A string, have the index finger covering the D and G strings to keep them from causing noise.
How To Stop Getting Lost On The Fretboard During Lead Guitar Licks And Solos
Ever feel like your lead guitar licks and solos start to become lost and you end up missing notes or playing out-of-key?
Learning how to visualize the fretboard is crucial for playing guitar licks and lead guitar solos that flow from note to note.
This is where you want your lead guitar skills to be.
Try this out:
Focus on getting better at visualizing the scale shape you are moving into before you start to move your guitar licks in that direction.
To practice this skill, work on using scale shapes that begin in close positions at first.
For instance, practice improvising lead guitar licks using the a 3 note per string C Mixolydian b6 scale beginning on the 3rd fret of the A string within a single octave. Do this for 10-20 repetitions.
Then practice playing lead guitar licks using the 3 note per string G Mixolydian scale beginning on the 10th fret of the A string within a single octave. Do this for a minute.
Note: G Lydian Dominant is within the same parent mode as Mixolydian b6 and uses the same notes, only it starts from the 10th fret.
For the next minute, mix both scale shapes together.
Over time, slowly expand your fretboard coverage by adding more notes from the same mode in this manner.
This helps you expand your lead guitar licks to begin stepping outside of your comfort zone while helping your to train your phrasing. This is essential practice for playing more creative guitar licks over time.
An Essential Recommendation For All Serious Lead Guitar Players:
Start taking lessons with a guitar teacher instead of learning by yourself.
It's discouraging to find yourself stuck in your path towards your lead guitar goals and unaware of what you ought to do to improve without someone experienced to instruct you.
This makes improving your lead guitar licks and soloing skills seem tiring and demotivating rather than exciting - like it should be.
This is very crucial for helping you make bursts of progress, because a fantastic guitar teacher is reliable at getting you to understand where you are going wrong, improve any sloppy habits and get new ideas about playing guitar that you may not have discovered if you learned totally by yourself.
I have given instruction for many years to thousands of guitarists worldwide and am very proud of the guitar playing wins I have been honored to get for them.
This is what my students say about taking lessons and how it changed their musical lives:
“I found Tom Hess on the net through articles, and I read quite a few of those before I went to Tom’s website. Even though I’m not a metal player at all, and Tom is obviously a metal player, I could still see that his ideas and way of teaching could really benefit me. So I pretty much signed up for online guitar lessons with Tom straight away once I’d gone through the website, and it’s just been a real eye opener with the way he teaches…”
... the integration of concepts that he’ll give you and having a really structured strategy… not just week to week lessons, but things that - you can see from one lesson to the next - really develop and continue to work on your technique and your theory and aural skills and those types of things. So I’d played a long time… 20 years before I really caught onto Tom, and I’d had a lot of lessons, and I’d taught and played but I can really see improvements in my technique, sweeping, and picking which weren’t strong parts of my playing.
I feel like Tom has a good gauge of where you’re at as a lead guitar player and what you need, and there just seemed to be so much more stuff in the lessons week to week than what you’d ever get in an hour or so in a one on one lesson… way more. So yeah I think that and the forum. I think, I’d pay the money just for the forum. That alone would be fine… I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all. So that alone is massive!
The price for the lessons, that’s nothing... nothing. You know, I think it’s, pretty cheap to be honest. I don’t mean that in a bad way, cheap. Cheap is not a good word, but I just think it’s great value… awesome value. I mean, you know, you could pay that for one-to-one lessons and you just don’t get the same results and support of the forum and the content and the strategies.
Other teachers I’ve had have been good players, and some have become good friends too. But when I’ve started lessons with Tom I’ve got something to compare that to and a lot of it is just sort of teaching songs from week to week… a lot of the lesson will be left up to you… you’ll go to your lesson and they’ll be like what do you want to do today? At the time I said, oh do this song or that song, but with Tom you start to realize that you know, there’s more to it… the goals and you know he’s sort of more in contact with what you want to be able to do as a player, because he’s asking you the questions and then setting up the strategies, so I find that really good.
Yeah I can see more results in 18 months in a lot of areas in my playing than you know 20 years. So it’s sort of, you know, would’ve been great 20 years ago to have met Tom.
Simon Candy, Melbourne, Australia
"When I came to Tom for online guitar lessons, I already had a decent overall level of technique and understood the basics of music theory pretty well. I had taken lessons with other teachers before, and went through several guitar method books that promised to teach me how to become a great lead guitar player. I learned all the materials in these books and courses and picked up some useful tips and knowledge along the way. Yet for some reason I still wasn't feeling like a musician. I struggled very much with writing my own songs, creating my own solos and pushing my guitar technique and speed to a higher level (especially sweep picking, alternate picking, and playing clean at high speeds).
When I started learning from Tom, the main thing that made him different from other teachers was that he was showing me how to excel in all aspects of my lead guitar playing by applying the skills that I already knew together with the new material that I was learning from him.
He made me aware of both strengths and weaknesses in my playing that I did not even know I had. From there he gave me the knowledge, tools and guidance to literally transform my lead guitar licks by enabling me to overcome things that were preventing me from becoming a truly creative and self-expressive guitar player. These were the kinds of things that none of my previous guitar teachers and books I studied were able to do for me.
After Tom made me aware of all the things I was missing in my guitar playing and provided me with the strategy and tools for solving them, I began to make very fast progress in all areas of my guitar playing.
I can now write my own music and can create lead guitar solos that I am happy and fulfilled with. I also have the technical skills to confidently and easily play anything that I want to express. I have overcome all of the lead guitar challenges that I struggled with before, and increased my guitar speed to virtuoso levels. More importantly, I have the knowledge and understanding of how to continually improve my lead guitar licks and musical skills to higher and higher levels to continue expressing myself with my music. Overall, I have definitely transformed in a huge way as a musician and as a person through my lessons with Tom Hess. I am grateful to him for guiding me towards becoming the guitarist I always wanted to be!"
Mike Philippov, Indiana, USA
“When I first heard about Tom Hess, I saw that he was a teacher that was very dedicated and serious about it, and that drew me in immediately. That this is a guy that has a plan, has a goal and really if you’re serious about learning guitar, this guy is equally as serious in a way. So it resonated with me straight away.”
I started out just learning by myself and as many others I got stuck. I had a few issues I wanted to get by, but when I met Tom and talked with him and started lessons with him, he opened up a whole new world of possibilities of what lead guitar playing can be.
I feel very grateful that I found lessons from Tom since I then did what worked from the very beginning. Many guitarists I see that played way longer than I did, they have build up many bad habits. That from the very start, there was clear instruction of how to practice correctly. You build the ability for high speed and whatever you want from the very beginning and you don’t waste time doing inefficient things. So I’m very grateful that I did that, and now I really feel I am able to reach whatever level I want.
The reasons why I think I feel so motivated all the time is because I know that the thing I’m working on is relevant for me and it’s exactly the direct thing I need to get.
The forum just kicks ass. The people in the forum - it’s just like unconditional help all the time. They love to help out, and you also get very inspired by seeing someone just really getting speed really quick and then you say if he can do it, I can do it. It works on the mental side of being a guitarist and that of course that’s the most important thing. Just being around other musicians like that, is just you learn so much faster, is so much less frustration when you can see that all the people are having the same issues that you do, not anything special or anything. It’s just part of learning process, so it kicks ass.
Magnus Gautestad, Norway
Think you are ready to learn more about playing great lead guitar licks? Let me teach you all about playing creatively on guitar. Get started with online guitar lessons with a great guitar teacher.